Thanks to a number of independent coffee brands that have cropped up across India today, most of us have shifted from making an instant cup of the much-loved elixir to enjoying a well-roasted artisanal brew of choice at home every morning. We give you a round-up of the five best homegrown brands in India that promise you the perfect cup of craft coffee. By Sushmita Srivastav
Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters
Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters was born in 2013 when Namrata Asthana and Matt Chirthranjan realised that there’re enough buyers, like themselves, of freshly ground local coffee but not many options. With the goal of promoting Arabica beans sourced from India’s various coffee estates, the duo came up with a system that profiles each roast from the start to the finish and sends it out within 24 hours. One of the early entrants, Blue Tokai is a household name in the Indian market today, offering freshly ground coffee ranging from light to very dark roasts. They also have 28 cafes across the country.
Seven Beans Coffee Company
Seven Beans Coffee Company is a brainchild of brother duo, Abhijit and Advith Shetty who made up their minds in 2013 to stop their 100-year-old family business of exporting their coffee produces and finally start using their 2,000 acres of coffee plantations to open their own roastery. They shook hands with Italian roastmaster, Dante Cagliari, and after two years of learning the art of roasting, started bringing the high-quality blends to the domestic table. From growing the beans to the packaging and everything in between, everything is critically examined to ensure the quality of the gourmet Indian coffee they offer.
Black Baza Coffee Co.
Arshiya Urveeja Bose had a much wider vision in mind when she decided to come up with Black Baza Coffee Co.—she wanted to design the process in a sustainable way while helping the community of Indian coffee growers. In her words, ‘the idea of creating a local, participatory and meaningful movement for coffee’ is what forms the building block of Black Baza. While their coffee is 100 per cent traceable back to the farms of the producers who have adopted sustainable farming methods, the passionate environmental conservationist promises to give back to nature with each sell. Choose from Arabica and Robusta beans, or perfect blends of both in a different flavour, including citrus, dark chocolate, fruity, and more.
While the lineage of the Kambi-Halli Estate goes as long as six generations back in past, today it stands as the House of Halli Berri run by Nalima Kariappa and her daughter, Tejini. Born from the idea of allowing people in to experience a day in the exceptional life of a coffee planter, the all women-run brand produces sustainably farmed coffee—with the cherries grown under shade and carefully handpicked. Made in small batches, and 100 per cent Arabica, this gourmet coffee carries a honey-dew flavour. But the experience doesn’t end here. Halli Berri also runs The Coffee Barn Cafe and luxury cottages in Chikmagalur.
The Indian Bean
For founder Kunal Ross, it is of utmost priority that the coffee beans used at The Indian Bean are handpicked from a single farm, to make sure that there has been no mingling and hence, no mucking of the taste. Ross was the first one to sell single-estate coffee online in 2012 and the variety comes from farms in Coorg, Malenadu, and BR Hills in Karnataka. Love to try different flavours? The Indian Bean is always up to offering new flavours for the Indian palate. Pick from Malnad, Frowners, Watapi, and Bullet, and you would come back for more.